Darkest London, #7
by Kristen Callihan
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Isolated and alone, Sin Evernight is one of the most powerful supernatural creatures in heaven and on earth. As an angel of vengeance, he hunts down the darkest evil, but when his long-lost friend, Layla Starling, needs him, he vows to become her protector. Even though she will be horrified by the man he has become.
Now a famous singer and the toast of London, Layla believes that Sin is only here to guard her from rabid fans and ardent suitors. However, the truth is far more sinister. Desperate to avoid losing Layla a second time, Sin will face a test of all his powers to defeat an unstoppable foe - and win an eternity with the woman he loves.
What a great finale for the Darkest London series. I love how Kristen tied up all the loose end from Book 1 to Book 7 and gave us an epic showdown for her final book of the series.
Truth to be told, I only read Firelight and Evernight prior to reading this, but it doesn't take much for me to remember the London setting, the history and the previous characters.
The main couple in this book is St John Evernight, the youngest brother and black sheep of the Evernight's family and Layla Starling. They were both childhood friend, but got separated when Layla's guardian, Augustus decided to ship her away. Since their separation. St. John's life basically turned to hell with some of bad decision he made, which also caused a rift with his sisters.
Now that Layla all grown up and back in London, Augustus made it his mission to ensure Layla's safety by having St. John guarding her. Getting in close proximity with the girl of his dream is not conducive for his well being as he is having a hard time fighting his feelings for her, but he also can't be with her because of his past.
St. John is quite a tortured hero who thinks he didn't deserve someone as pure and innocent as Layla. His past although not being told in glory detail was enough to invoke great sympathy from me. Thank goodness Layla is a much stronger heroine who is persistent in going after what she wants. She refuse to let him rebuff her no matter how hard he tries. I love her for her unwavering trust and faith in him.
Apart from the main couple, the highlight of the story for me is actuallyAugustus and Lena's relationship. Their tumultuous non-relationship that span decades is full of angst, heartbreak, betrayal and etc etc that make me rooting for them. I just need Papa Augustus to have his HEA as well.
All the previous couples did make a small appearance here, especiallyArcher and Miranda. Their appearances act as a supporting role without overshadowing the main couple, which I appreciate. The final showdown with the villain was epic as expected with a little twist added in for extra flare.
For fans of Darkest London series, Forevermore is the finale that wouldn't want to miss.
One might think being an immortal was a blessing, never grow old, never grow sick, never die. At one time in St. John Evernight’s life, he considered it a blessing too. He would be around long after the simple humans who surrounded him were nothing but dust. They could stare all they liked at his “strange” hair and frosty green eyes. They could gossip and speculate about him until they lost their voices. It didn’t matter. He was untouchable, and they were but fragile sacks of blood and bone.
How naive he’d been. Because living forever merely meant a lack of escape from the desolation of regret and loneliness. He knew now that he could walk down Jermyn Street endlessly, see the sands of time shift and rearrange before him, and never be a part of life.
“Brooding, Mr. Evernight?”
Sin almost jumped at the sudden sound of Augustus’s voice by his side. Damn, the blasted man loved to startle him. He gave Augustus a passing glance. Dressed in conservative brown tweed and a bowler hat, the angel appeared every inch the English gentlemen, save for his dark coloring that marked him to be from Southern climes.
“It’s really quite the trick, popping up like a soap bubble whenever you choose, Augustus. You must teach me how one day.”
The man’s mouth twitched. “With your luck, you’d pop up in the middle of a parliamentary session.”
Yes, Sin had abominable luck. Or perhaps it was more a matter of making abominable choices.
“You’re brooding again,” Augustus remarked.
“I’m not brooding. This is simply my face.”
Augustus snorted but remained silent as they walked along, past Trafalgar Square and down Whitehall.
“Care to tell me why you called me here?” Sin asked, when they came upon the grounds of Westminster. For the past year, Sin had been in Rome, soaking in the warmer temperatures, drinking espresso in cafes along the Piazza della Rotunda, under the shade of the ancient Pantheon. He’d eaten simple but delicious food, and listened to the rapid fire of Italian, and felt…well, not peace, but a measure of contentment.
Until Augustus had sent for him. Returning to England sat like a stone in his gut. But he would obey. Augustus was his mentor, and the man who’d given him salvation. The price was a lifetime of servitude. To be fair, his role was for justice, not evil, which was a nice change of pace.
A massive dray rattled past, kicking up dust and sending a fug of stale manure into the air. They hurried past the cloud and headed for Westminster Abbey. Sin hadn’t planned on visiting today, but here they were all the same. He wondered if Augustus somehow had led him to their usual meeting place or if Sin had merely headed that way because of the man’s sudden arrival.
He’d like to think the latter. It did not sit well with him having another control his actions. Not since a certain evil fae had kept Sin as a blood slave for years. Even now, the memory made his stomach turn.
Not a soul acknowledged them as they walked through the abbey and into the cloisters. Here, a rare bit of sunlight peeked through the constant cloud cover and cast lacy shadows along the walkway. The sound of their boot heels clacked out a steady rhythm as they strolled along.
“Layla returns to London tonight.”
At the mention of her name, Sin’s heart stilled within his breast. He’d tried his best to ward off all finer feelings, to remain numb, detached from life. And yet he could not, for the life of him, remain immune to Layla Starling. His childhood friend. The one woman who could take his breath, his reason, simply by laying eyes upon her.
Stuffing his shaking hands into his trouser pockets, Sin forced himself to keep an even tone. “So then I am to begin watching over her?”
God, but he did not want to. It would be agony, staying so close to her and never being allowed to show his true feelings. And yet a thrum of anticipation went through him at the mere prospect of seeing Layla once more.
“Are you ready?” Augustus asked, though his expression told Sin he fully expected an affirmative answer.
So Sin told him the only truth left to him. “I will not fail her.”
USA Today bestselling author Kristen Callihan is a writer because there is nothing else she'd rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewers' Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book, Firelight, received RT Book Reviews' Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher's Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.